Lakewood Ambulance out of business

Full story: WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan

Lakewood Ambulance is out of business and will no longer service the five townships it covered.
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21 - 40 of 44 Comments Last updated Jun 26, 2009
aye_emt_p

Grand Rapids, MI

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#21
Apr 24, 2008
 
In this time when this state is so financially strapped, on all ends, it is sad to see so many bashing each other. Gov't is hurting, common man is hurting. I know we look to the gov't to lead us, but as citizans of the community, it is our job to monitor what is going on and speak up on what you believe in. I think that everyone is the loser here. As a medic myself, that works with many ambulance services on different levels, all services have their 'good' people and their 'bad' people. To label all in one service because of the shortcomings of some is wrong. Every field and company has the good and the bad. Just think of your own work place. I agree with Ben that first responders can't replace an ambulance, but they are very valuable too!! Hooray for their efforts!!!
do you really know

Charlotte, MI

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#22
Apr 24, 2008
 
janie wrote:
<quoted text>
I know first hand what is going on, sorry that it upset you but i do know what is going on
well seeing as how I'm his son and I've been working through this with him, it really sounds like you don't know. to me it sounds like you got a small part of obscure information and now your just tring to spread rumors and stir up more trouble. though it dosen't really matter now,
Nurse Kelly exLW MI

East Lansing, MI

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#23
Apr 24, 2008
 
Well, since "you really know," maybe you can shed some light on where the heck Robertson came from, what his track record with other services has been, or even why he mischaracterizes townships' actions to the media. Few people realize what a disaster your poor daddy had to work with, but why did he think he could make a go of it? Let's hear, too, about how much notice was given to the townships before service was terminated. It may still matter; things need to have been done decently and in accordance with the law.
Odessa Twp. has a long history of incompetence where ambulance service is concerned, but what about the other townships? Don't go painting them all with the same brush; you've got a lot of experience, even EMS experience, sitting at some of those tables. If they can all work together, we just may get a rig from a professionally run company right in the Lakewood area.
Bessie

Grand Rapids, MI

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#24
Apr 24, 2008
 
I am also a Lake O resident. However afer reading the article in the paper about the financial stuggles facing the ambulance service I started to wonder something. When you base your fundraising on bakesales and things of that nature. Do you really expect to go far? Just remember when the community came together and helped finance Unity Field.. If the ambulance service would have came forward sooner the community possibily could have helped more than just buying some cookies. No to mention government grant programs and such that could have been applied for.
Emt

Grand Rapids, MI

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#25
Apr 24, 2008
 
guess again wrote:
I think it was the Lake Odessa Fire Department's AED that saved the Twp supervisor - not Lakewood Ambulance.
<quoted text>
Yes in deed the fire dept's AED got a heart beat back, that is what AED's are for, but with out the Parametic's and Emt's from Lakewood Ambulance
and their quick responce,life saving skills and equiptment that man would have lost his heart rate again and that would be the end!!
Hidden Issues

Caro, MI

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#26
Apr 25, 2008
 
lets get the facts please wrote:
I agree 100% that the township needs to put the milage to a vote to fund ambulance service. However, the process of selecting the service must be done in a professional manner based on the proposals that are received not based on the personalities of the individuals. The service selected has to be accountable because they will be receiving taxpayer dollars and not hide behind the "we're a private company" argument that Lakewood has used. The issues of quality care, accountability and the viability of the business should be very important to address. I have had some very different experiences than you have had with Lakewood Ambulance and I seriously question the quality of care that the residents of our five townships have been receiving.
I'm sorry you have had "some very different experiences" with Lakewood ambulance; that is unfortunate. Lakewood ambulance has not received any complaints from patients about the quality of care given to them in an emergency, nor have they had any complaints from family members. The only township that has ever had a problem with LWCA is Odessa township, and that goes back to a long time ago. Certain people of the Odessa township board and a few people in the community have a personal vendetta against Lakewood Ambulance, for what reason, we may never know. The personnel working for Lakewood ambulance are certified and licensed in accordance with the state of Michigan, just like Life, Mercy, Rockford Ambulances etc. It is sad to me, that some people will put the lives of their community, their friends, and even their family at risk because they are serving their own personal issues instead of serving their community. I am ashamed to say I am from the Lakewood area when we have cetain people in authoritative positions (you know who you are) that don't support our local services.
Catattack

United States

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#27
Apr 25, 2008
 
Hidden Issues wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm sorry you have had "some very different experiences" with Lakewood ambulance; that is unfortunate. Lakewood ambulance has not received any complaints from patients about the quality of care given to them in an emergency, nor have they had any complaints from family members. The only township that has ever had a problem with LWCA is Odessa township, and that goes back to a long time ago. Certain people of the Odessa township board and a few people in the community have a personal vendetta against Lakewood Ambulance, for what reason, we may never know. The personnel working for Lakewood ambulance are certified and licensed in accordance with the state of Michigan, just like Life, Mercy, Rockford Ambulances etc. It is sad to me, that some people will put the lives of their community, their friends, and even their family at risk because they are serving their own personal issues instead of serving their community. I am ashamed to say I am from the Lakewood area when we have cetain people in authoritative positions (you know who you are) that don't support our local services.
AMEN
Rockfordlifems

Elkhart, IN

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#28
Apr 25, 2008
 
You area residents better rally and save your service or you will be stuck with a private service that will staff your area with unproven, unseasoned, and poorly paid medics that are not from the area. Imagine calling that crew for YOUR emergency while they are in their 23rd hour of a 24 hour shift, if they can find your address, you'll be praying for quality care. Remember, these are "for profit" companies--in it for the money.
Notjustajob

Lowell, WI

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#29
Apr 25, 2008
 
Catattack wrote:
How is it that the 'government' can make decisions without asking the people that these decisions will affect?
Thanks Odessa Twp.
These are your elected Twp officials, and are supposed to be speaking on behalf of the people who elected them. Unfortunately, these few people feel that it is more important to inflict their personal opinions/hard feelings instead of performing their duty. Maybe now the community will wake up and see how these people really operate. Too bad it is at the expense of the sick & injured who will have to wait extended periods of time for an ambulance.
Notjustajob

Lowell, WI

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#30
Apr 25, 2008
 
Catattack wrote:
<quoted text>
We've had them and they left also! not 'enough' business way out here
Too bad your facts aren't correct. Jim was the director and not in charge of money. The executive Board of Directors had all financial control. Jim handled the personnel end of the business. And since the business restructured in August 2007, Jim did an awesome job of ensuring everyone was well qualified to provide care to the communities.
Notjustajob

Lowell, WI

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#31
Apr 25, 2008
 
lets get the facts please wrote:
Before everyone judges the township officials, they should get all the facts about the ambulance service and their own issues including finances, true response time and quality of care. Check with the state regulatory agency and the county officials if you want a true picture.
And while you're getting all the facts, make sure you are looking at the facts from Aug 2007 to current. The business restructured at that time and went through many changes. If there were problems, it hasn't been since the restructure. Unless you're talking about unfounded nuisance complaints that are based on personality conflict. There are certain people who can't be pleased, no matter how perfect you do your job.
Notjustajob

Lowell, WI

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#32
Apr 25, 2008
 
Ken Cote wrote:
Odessa Townships big wigs can afford to give taxpayers money to the Historic Society, give themselves a 401k, and a health plan (don't forget they are part-part-time employees) but couldn't give a rats rear end to save lives of their own neighbors. As for the Odessa Township Clerk she is the most vulgar, rudest, and dishonest person on the board and that is a hard title to capture from her peers. A few years ago the good citizens of Lake Odessa got tired of the bad apples in office and they were forced to run with their tails between their legs. Maybe it's time to clean house over at the Odessa Township Hall.
Don't forget Lake Odessa is in Odessa Township and if your elected officials do not have the back bone to stand up to the Mighty 3 then maybe there needs to be another house cleaning at city hall.
When the issue was first brought to their attention, they were more worried about the retirement package presentation being given, than consider giving an inch to provide ambulance service to the community that elected them.
PLEASE clean house.
Notjustajob

Lowell, WI

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#33
Apr 25, 2008
 
Nurse Kelly exLW MI wrote:
Well, since "you really know," maybe you can shed some light on where the heck Robertson came from, what his track record with other services has been, or even why he mischaracterizes townships' actions to the media. Few people realize what a disaster your poor daddy had to work with, but why did he think he could make a go of it? Let's hear, too, about how much notice was given to the townships before service was terminated. It may still matter; things need to have been done decently and in accordance with the law.
Odessa Twp. has a long history of incompetence where ambulance service is concerned, but what about the other townships? Don't go painting them all with the same brush; you've got a lot of experience, even EMS experience, sitting at some of those tables. If they can all work together, we just may get a rig from a professionally run company right in the Lakewood area.
As someone from the inside, it doesn't matter where Jim came from or what his record was with other companies. From Aug 2007 to current, while Jim was director, he did everything humanly possible to keep the boat afloat. It wasn't the effort of just ONE person. The whole crew came together to make it work following a major restructuring. Were there problems with the service prior to that? Yes. But that was then. Those problems were dealt with and corrected -- done and over. Why keep it going when things got so difficult? Because it wasn't just a job for us. Providing quality emergency care to our friends and neighbors is something we STILL believe strongly in and wish with everything IN US that we could still do. I can't count the times I've cried and prayed with family members over their loved ones who are injured, ill or have died. EMS isn't just a job; it becomes part of you.
As for working as a team to come up with a solution, we've been trying to do that for months! But the personal vendettas of a few bad apples with power and closed minds have caused everything to come to a grinding halt.
Notjustajob

Lowell, WI

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#34
Apr 25, 2008
 
Bessie wrote:
I am also a Lake O resident. However afer reading the article in the paper about the financial stuggles facing the ambulance service I started to wonder something. When you base your fundraising on bakesales and things of that nature. Do you really expect to go far? Just remember when the community came together and helped finance Unity Field.. If the ambulance service would have came forward sooner the community possibily could have helped more than just buying some cookies. No to mention government grant programs and such that could have been applied for.
You are right. We should've come to the public sooner. Hindsight is 20/20 and we see that now. But we did put a full page ad in the paper letting residents know there was a problem. It got little response. There has always been money problems, and I wonder if people thought is was nothing new - no big deal? As for a major fundraising event, we didn't have time. We went through a major restructure in Aug 2007 and have had our hands full since then. We went from a "volunteer family operation" to a business with full accountability & transparency. Because Lakewood was a private company and not owned by a municipality, the availability of grants were few and far between. Believe me - we tried.
howdy

Lowell, WI

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#35
Apr 25, 2008
 
Maybe if the quality of care was better, lakewood would still be here. I would never let my family members ride in their hurse(ambulance). I would rather wait for a professional, quality ambulance.
Catattack

United States

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#36
Apr 26, 2008
 
Notjustajob wrote:
<quoted text>
Too bad your facts aren't correct. Jim was the director and not in charge of money. The executive Board of Directors had all financial control. Jim handled the personnel end of the business. And since the business restructured in August 2007, Jim did an awesome job of ensuring everyone was well qualified to provide care to the communities.
Perhaps your facts are not correct, We HAD Rockford EMS they pulled out of their contract for lack of income.(not enough business)

Lakewood Ambulance service has always been awesome to 'my' family and friends.
Tom

AOL

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#37
Apr 26, 2008
 
Ken Cote wrote:
Odessa Townships big wigs can afford to give taxpayers money to the Historic Society, give themselves a 401k, and a health plan (don't forget they are part-part-time employees) but couldn't give a rats rear end to save lives of their own neighbors. As for the Odessa Township Clerk she is the most vulgar, rudest, and dishonest person on the board and that is a hard title to capture from her peers. A few years ago the good citizens of Lake Odessa got tired of the bad apples in office and they were forced to run with their tails between their legs. Maybe it's time to clean house over at the Odessa Township Hall.
Don't forget Lake Odessa is in Odessa Township and if your elected officials do not have the back bone to stand up to the Mighty 3 then maybe there needs to be another house cleaning at city hall.
You must of just woke up. Most of the people involved with the government are getting that way. The govt is getting to be a place to work where you can get good pay, benefits, make things happen for certain people, and not have to worry about anyone looking over their shoulder, or them getting in trouble if they are caught doing something we see as wrong.
Tom

AOL

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#38
Apr 26, 2008
 
Catattack wrote:
<quoted text>
Perhaps your facts are not correct, We HAD Rockford EMS they pulled out of their contract for lack of income.(not enough business)
Lakewood Ambulance service has always been awesome to 'my' family and friends.
LIFE EMS is owned by the Meijer grocery people. Can you imagine the money they're raking in every week? Maybe even have something set up where they can use a bigger tax deduction from the Meijer Stores by operating the ambulance business. Like providing public assistance to serve the community and save lives? The days of small business are slowly disappearing.
Catattack

United States

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#39
Apr 27, 2008
 
Tom wrote:
<quoted text>
LIFE EMS is owned by the Meijer grocery people. Can you imagine the money they're raking in every week? Maybe even have something set up where they can use a bigger tax deduction from the Meijer Stores by operating the ambulance business. Like providing public assistance to serve the community and save lives? The days of small business are slowly disappearing.
which is truly sad in our small communities where our 'mom & pop' business's are going under. drive farther and pay more ... big business is swallowing up the little man again. It will be sad to have strangers treating us in an emergency rather ahn people we've grown up with.

Meijers needs to own an EMS service. That way it's cheaper for them when we have a heart attack in the store at the high prices and long lines
George

United States

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#40
Apr 27, 2008
 
It's interesting that the majority of posts on this site are from Lakewood Ambulance supporters, who seem mostly interested in engaging in personal attacks, running down other ambulance services, finding blame, pointing fingers, blah, blah, blah. To me that speaks volumes about the character and professionalism of this group.

Maybe they need to remember: "Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

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